More and more reports are coming to light about dangerous highly caffeinated beverages like Monster Energy Drinks. These are beverages that contain high amounts of caffeine, additives, and sometimes even alcohol. The manufacturers market them directly to teens who might benefit from extra “energy boosts”—kids who play video games, straight-A students who pull all-nighters, and outgoing kids. The data indicates that these drinks, even in small quantities, might be unsafe and possibly fatal.
What’s Wrong With Energy Drinks?
The drinks simply have too much caffeine and not enough warning. These are stimulants that can have a harmful effect on the cardiovascular system, particularly if the drinker has any pre-existing heart problems. Drinking these beverages can cause increased blood pressure and heart rate, and can cause caffeine intoxication. The number of ER visits (most of them for people age 18 to 25) nationwide is telling:
- 2008: 16,053 emergency room visits because of energy drinks
- 2009: 13,114 emergency room visits because of energy drinks
- 2011: 20,783 emergency room visits because of energy drink
42% of these visits are from patients who consumed other substances (some legal and some illegal) along with the energy drinks. But that leaves 58% where the sole problem was the energy drink.
Caffeine intoxication can cause abnormal heartbeat and heart attacks. These drinks have been linked to at least five deaths already. One 14-year old’s death is suspected to have been caused by simply drinking two energy drinks in a 24-hour period.
Right now they are legally classified as dietary supplements, and therefore outside of the scope of FDA regulation. Though, we think this may change in the near future after extensive investigation by the government.
We are keeping an eye on these caffeine products—there has been at least one lawsuit filed by the family of 14-year-old Maryland girl who believe that Monster Energy Drinks caused her death. If you have questions about these caffeinated beverages or any other product that caused injury in Maryland or West Virginia, contact our personal injury lawyers at 1-800-776-4529, or online.